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Posted by: In: Other 30 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


142-Wham!-Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

1984-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 0.36. If your a DJ playing to the 40-60 age group, and you can’t think what to play, try this, and if they don’t dance, it’s not your fault.

Wham! (see also best songs 991) were formed in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England, in 1981 by George Michael, (1963-2016) (see also best songs 342) and Andrew Ridgeley. The pair had first met at school and played in a band called ‘The Executive,’ with four others, before splitting to form Wham! in 1982, they remained active as a duo until 1986. Andrew Ridgeley has explained how the name ‘Wham!’ came about, saying it originated from a need for,’Something that captured the essence of what set us apart, our energy and our friendship, and then it came to us, Wham! Wham! was snappy, immediate, fun and boisterous too.’ It was the British design studio ‘Stylorouge’ who created the exclamation mark to the name of the band. The discography of Wham! consists of two studio Albums,’Fantastic’ from 1983, and ‘Make It Big’ from 1984, and 12 singles, all of which made the UK top 40, with six of those reaching Number 1. While in America on Billboard they have charted on seven occasions, with three of those songs making the top spot, Wham! have sold in excess of 30 million records worldwide.

‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ was the first of four singles released from the second and final studio Album from Wham!, ‘Make It Big,’ from 1984, and was written and produced by George Michael. The story goes that Andrew Ridgeley needed a wake up call, so he left a note for his mother on his door, he wrote, ‘Wake me up up, and then realising that he had duplicated a word, finished the sentence with ‘Before you go go.’ George Michael on hearing the tale thought that it was very funny, and decided to use it for a song title.

‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ has a retro feel to it, opening with the word ‘Jitterbug,’ which is repeated four times, the ‘Jitterbug’ was a very popular dance in America in the 1930’s, and was still performed regularly at the onset of the Rock N’ Roll’ era. Another nod to the past comes with the name checking of the late great Doris Day (1922-2019) (see also best songs 333.) A ‘Go-Go’ is the name used to describe a club where people would go to dance, and it is dancing which is partly the theme of this song. The lyrics tell the story of someone who sleeps while his girlfriend goes out dancing, he is upset by this and insists that next time she takes him with her as he doesn’t want to miss the fun. He has also heard rumours that she may not be being faithful to him, but he is so smitten, so he will ignore that.

George Michael has said about writing the song,’I just wanted to make a really energetic pop record that had all the best elements of fifties and sixties records, combined with our attitude and our approach, which is obviously more uptempo and a lot younger than some of those records. It’s one of those tracks that gets rid of a lot of your own personal influences, it reminds me of so many different records that I couldn’t actually nail them down. I’d done a demo at home that just had a bass line and a vocal on it. Usually, I write the record in my head, I know what all the parts are going to be and I sing them to all our musicians, and it was great, we actually did it as a rehearsal. We used a LinnDrum, (drum machine) because the drummer was late, and it was such a good track that we kept it.’

‘You take the grey skies out of my way, you make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day. Turned a bright spark into a flame, my beats per minute never been the same.’